From Japanese Land Reform,
The government initially ordered individual farmers to measure the plots of their land themselves, calculate their taxes, and submit the results to local tax officials. However, difficulties arose with the honesty of the measuring system when the 1874 budget showed that collected taxes fell far below projected values.
The funny thing is that there's a simple algorithm to keep people honest about their own self-reported property taxes. The owner of the property gets to say what the value of the property is, from which the tax is calculated, and if the taxman thinks the value is too low or the owner is dishonest, then he's got the right to buy the property at the price the owner reported. So if you're dishonest, you risk losing 20 to 30 times more than you stood to gain by lying on your taxes. Then of course the taxman sells your land to your neighbours who all laugh at you in contempt.
This is a simple implementation of 'cut and choose'. One person cuts the cake, the other person chooses which piece of cake is theirs. It's perfectly fair and equitable. And almost nobody does this except small children. Preferring instead expensive land surveys. Yuck.
Why do people go for the expensive and complicated solution rather than the simple, cheap and elegant one? Because the elegant solution depends on understanding and manipulating human minds. It relies on redesigning human incentives. And not just exploiting them like psychopaths do (eg, con men, shills and marketers).
In the elegant solution, you neutralize the property owner's greedy desire to cheat by changing that greed to 'keeping his property'. And you further the taxman's desire to make owners pay honestly by giving him the power to totally fuck over property owners (if and ONLY IF they're dishonest, because honest owners won't lose on the forcible sale) as well as give him a narcissistic thrill that he's devouring the property and enlarging himself by proxy (by enlarging the state's holdings).
But effectively redesigning human minds is something that comes naturally only to extremely high Presence Good people. In other words, a maximum of 40% of the population in theory, and in practice 0% of the population. Whereas merely regulating human actions is something that comes naturally to very high Presence non-Evil people. Regulating human behaviour is a much simpler concept for people to process than regulating human thoughts in order to regulate human behaviour.
And I'm aware that Psychopaths SEEM like they do it but they really don't. They just accumulate a bunch of tricks and exploits. Con men don't understand human minds any better than crackers, hackers, and virus writers understand operating systems. They are unable to generate any arbitrary effect.